SpotifyU – Using Spotify for delivering teaching and learning content

Spotify is probably the best new internet-thing in years. I have some good reasons to claim that Spotify will be soon added to the list of commercial internet innovations changing the game, such as Yahoo!, Amazon, Netscape, Google or Skype. Just like all these have had an effect on learning and teaching, I think so will Spotify.

If you didn’t know already, Spotify (Check the Wikipedia article) is a software and service to search music, to do playlists and to stream music. There are also social recommendations with “artists you may like” –list and you may have the music available offline. Spotify runs on Win, Mac and Linux. There is also iPhone application.

How Spotify works in practice: You’ll write “Sibelius” to search field and it gives you a list of 235 albums of Sibelius’ music with 3772 tracks. Then you may sort the results e.g. by popularity, track, artist, time and album. Everything is linked together: you’ll click the album name and you’ll get all the tracks of that album.

Probably the greatest feature of Spotify is shareable links. You can make a link to a single track or playlist and share them. Here are examples:

Vadim Repin – Sibelius : Violin Concerto in D minor Op.47 : I Allegro moderato:
http://open.spotify.com/track/5vmPFB8qwZYrabPEqzXlkH

Teemu’s playlist:
http://open.spotify.com/user/teemu.leinonen/playlist/6d3RFTMGtmu2KLyXqC0xaa

Spotify is today a music service. I assume they are looking for video content, too.

How Spotify could be used for teaching and learning?

The same way it is used for music, except the content should be small “tracks” for learning: lectures, interviews of scientists and researchers. From these one could then make “playlists” and simply send them for students or use them in a lecture by brining interesting people as voices or vide clips in to the classes.

SpotifyU could be fully free, no advertisement service, run with content donations from the world leading scientists and teachers. To start-up, just have some of the Hans Rosling’s video lectures in small clips in Spotify – something like his famous TED talks – and you will have a movement.

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